Wednesday, August 05, 2020

The Call is Coming from Inside the Cave

The previous post referenced an introduction to Voegelin that I must have read when it was published in 2002 but hadn't looked at since.

Before returning it to the shelf, I wonder if it has any last words?

With regard to the bored and boring activists who rule the streets in Democrat-run cities, Federici writes of those "Spiritually indolent individuals" who "look for ways out of this difficult and unpleasant reality" -- that is, the unpleasant reality of existing in an ideologically closed world. Who wouldn't rebel?

The problem is, our brownshirted miscreants have misidentified the source of the oppression: the call is coming from inside the head!

For a cure to be efficacious, it requires the proper diagnosis. Antibiotics are great, but they don't mitigate psychosis. Nor, for that matter, does anti-Trumpism.

There is no political cure for a spirital illness. Indeed, it will only aggravate the disorder, since you can never get enough of what you don't really need. You'll end up "chasing the high," trying to replicate that triumphant feeling of winning the election for junior high student body president. Ideological activism is like a... like a time machine or something.

Political religions are the disease they pretend to cure: a "revolt against God," they are "brimming with revolutionary pathos," attracting "revolutionary-minded individuals" who are "impatient with the world as it is" and "looking for a solution to all social problems."

Let's not be too quick to dismiss the value of social problems, for they are the wonderfully diverting refuge of people fleeing their own personal problems; psychotherapy is too expensive, and besides, it won't help if your psychotherapist is as ideologically enclosed as you are.

I just went over to the APA website to fetch a typical example, and this unironical, ungrammatical, and unsatirizable unsanity is on the home page:

(Ir)rationality and Religiosity During Pandemics: Phenomenologizing Causal Connections

We invite papers which explicate the aspects of (ir)rationality, on a societal, social, communal, and personal scale. Our working hypothesis is that the lapses of secular reason contributed, if not lead to, the COVID-19 pandemics.

With the toll of deaths nearing 100,000 in early April 2020 and industrial countries such as the United Stated leading the numbers, what does it tell us about the status of knowledge, consciousness and its relationships with the power networks? Given the astounding denials of both trivial-ontic-empirical and scientific facts of epidemics, the relationship between the reason -- in action, politics, press, local decision-making -- and the subjective dimension of religiosity stand out in this new light, calling for the phenomenological reporting and reflection which must precede the care and the cure. While religious experience has been shown to have emancipatory value and enhance resilience and decrease stress, we'd like to clarify if this assessment still stands in this new situation.

I defy anyone to spend ten minutes on the APA website and not conclude that clinical psychology has devolved to a politico-religious cult. Fortunately, it's not my problem, since I'll be retiring soon. Let's move on.

To what? I don't know, how about the next essay, which, coincidentally, begins with the observation that "The climate of our universities certainly is hostile to the life of reason." However, "not every man is agreeable to having his nature deformed." For example, you and I.

Just look at what has happened to the field of psychology in my professional lifetime: back when I took the licensing exam in 1991, it was of course possible for a mentally disturbed individual to slip through the cracks. But nowadays, I don't see how a sane person could slip through.

Another synchronicity: "Education is the art of preventing people from acquiring the knowledge that would enable them to articulate the questions of existence. Education is the art of pressuring young people into a state of alienation that will result in quiet despair or aggressive militancy" (Voegelin).

And if the educational establishment should fail in its pneumocidal mission, the liberal media is there to complete the process of alienated idiocy.

Interesting that although this essay was published nearly fifty years ago, Voegelin saw that critical theory is "a euphemism for irrational, nihilistic opining," and how "the life of reason" was already being reimagined as "a fascist enterprise." Moreover, he recognized that the formerly liberal arts were rapidly becoming "an occupational therapy for persons otherwise employable."

Resistance? You call that resistance? That's not resistance, let alone courage, it's complete and total conformity to permissible opinion. Yes, I'm a member of the actual resistance, but I don't make a big deal out of it. Who boasts that they aren't insane? Yes, the unsane.

Genuine "lovers of wisdom" -- AKA philosophers -- are "engaged in an act of resistance against the personal and social disorder of their age." Would you like to commit a dramatic, world-shattering act of resistance? Would you like to stick it to the man? Would you like to overturn the order of the world? Would you like to leave your mother's basement?

Good. Here's how it's done: 1) turn around, and 2) step outside the cave. See what we mean? Some things never change, least of all the Light.

I suppose we'll end with this: there are those "who live in the one and common world (koinos kosmos) of the Logos which is the common bond of humanity, and the men who live in the several private worlds (idios kosmos) of their passion and imagination, between the men who lead a waking life and the sleepwalkers who take their dreams for reality (ibid.)."

If I've translated correctly, you can live in the one real cosmos or your own real idiotic one.


julie said...

I defy anyone to spend ten minutes on the APA website and not conclude that clinical psychology has devolved to a politico-religious cult.

I defy any honest therapist to look at that APA paragraph and not diagnose a bad case of word salad. I'd almost think Joe Biden could be more coherent.

But nowadays, I don't see how a sane person could slip through.

Of course not, since sanity is hate. And racist.

Cousin Dupree said...

Just when you're about to get tired of all the winning, Trump makes Big Mama unhappy.

julie said...

Maybe she should make a sad face and hold up a sign that says "free us from Trump", I'm sure that will make her feel better.

Anonymous said...

Hillary still blames Russia for her low grade depression, instead of that she's generally seen as a sociopathic bitch with destructive policies.

Today "freedom" means freedom from any consequences of your actions, especially if you're powerful.